Surface Restoration – Engineers restore high-resolution photos of the Moon, Technology Review (paid subscribers only)
“The images of the Moon’s surface taken by five NASA Lunar Orbiter satellites in 1966 and 1967 are still among the most detailed ever made. The original analog data, beamed down to Earth to plan landing sites for the Apollo missions, was recorded on magentic tapes that collected dust for decades and were nearly discarded. Now a team of engineers at an abandoned McDonald’s at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, CA is processing the data using restored and custom-built equipment, enabling a public that saw only snapshopts of these historic images to view them at their full resolution for the first time.”
The European Space Agency’s SMART-1 team has released an image of the future impact site of NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS). LCROSS will search for water ice on the Moon by making two impacts into a crater named Cabeus A at the lunar South Pole. The impacts are scheduled for 11:30 am UT on 9 October 2009.
Bjoern Grieger, the liaison scientist for SMART-1’s AMIE camera, and Project Scientist Bernard Foing have searched through SMART-1’s database for images of Cabeus A, taken four years ago at conditions where solar elevation and direction were similar to those of LCROSS impact. The SMART-1 image is at high resolution as the spacecraft was at its closest distance of 500 km from the South Pole. The SMART-1 image of the LCROSS target was discussed last week at lunar sessions of the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Potsdam, Germany. More
The Kodak Lunar Orbiter Camera, American Society of Cinematographers Blog
“The recent media attention given to the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, with its dramatic restored video of Neil Armstrong’s first steps onto the lunar surface, has re-ignited our nation’s interest in extra-terrestrial exploration. But this mission would not have been possible had it not been for a series of lunar surface mapping missions that were made several years before. It is a story that is not as dramatic as that of the first humans to walk on the moon. But it is a fascinating story, nonetheless, of the way that the entire Apollo program pushed beyond the then perceived limits of technology. And the Eastman Kodak Company was a major player.”
“The recent AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists) symposium held at the Dunn Theater of the AMPAS Pickford Center in Hollywood featured jaw-dropping presentations by Al Sturm and Ralph Sargent of the history of this program as well as the forensic-like work to find and restore its lost images. It is this latter theme I will take up soon along with the recent new photos also taken by a high resolution Kodak digital camera.”
This image (LO3_194_H3) was taken by Lunar Orbiter III on 22 February 1967 at 5:24:14 GMT at an altitude of 54.27 km above the lunar surface. High resolution frame 3 clearly shows the Surveyor 1 spacecraft sitting on the lunar surface complete with a long shadow.
Surveyor 1 landed on the Moon on 2 June 1966 in the Ocean of Storms (Oceanus Procellarum) at 2.45 degrees South latitude, 43.22 degrees West longitude.
This image has been recovered in its original high resolution format by LOIRP staff from original Lunar Orbiter project data tapes using restored tape drive hardware and will eventually be submitted to the PDS (Planetary Data System).
A full resolution version of this image will be placed online at the NASA Lunar Science Institute.
The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) is located at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA. Funding and support for this project has been provided by NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, NASA Innovative Partnerships Program, NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Odyssey Moon LLC, SkyCorp Inc., and SpaceRef Interactive Inc.
For more information on the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) visit http://18.104.22.168
For information on NASA’s Lunar Science Institute visit http://lunarscience.arc.nasa.gov/
For information on NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate visit http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/
Surveyor I: Location and Indentification, Science
Science 11 August 1967: Vol. 157 no. 3789 pp. 681-684
L. Harold Spradley, R. Steinbacher, M. Grolier, C. Byrne
Surveyor I landed on the lunar surface on 2 June 1966 and obtained more than 11,000 pictures of the environment with its television camera. The same region was photographed by the 24-inch (61-centimeter) camera of Orbiter III on 22 February 1967. Surveyor I has been located in these Orbiter photographs; its image was found and all search and identification criteria were satisfied by the site.
Lunar coordinates of Surveyor 1, Charles J. Byrne, 28 April 1967